Opinion
E-waste: The growing environment threat in Uganda
Publish Date: Jul 17, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img

By Agatha Ninsiima
 
When I accidentally sat on my phone a few weeks ago, one look at the screen told me it was beyond repair. The only question remaining was what funeral to give to my dead ex-best friend. Rather, how best to dispose my old dead lovely phone.
 
Normally, I would just toss it in the rubbish bin.
 
Having read, reviewed and advocated for the implementation of the E-Waste Policy of 2012, I wanted to find out how I could recycle or safely dispose my dead phone without hurting the environment.
 
E-waste covers everything electronic we throw away, from the smallest battery, phone, watch to the largest computer or a television set. For most Ugandans, it has come to mean that obsolete phones, or slow computers that, two years ago, were the fastest ever available are dumped for new ones.
 
All over the world, e-waste has become the fastest growing type of rubbish. Each day, we buy new gadgets as technology continues to advance.
 
Did you know that your phone, in addition to being made with mercury, lead, arsenic, and glass, contains valuable amounts of gold, platinum, silver, and copper? In China, recycling these minerals from their e-waste is now an economic sector worth over billions of dollars every year.
 
Right now, in Uganda, our e-waste is just pilling up inside and outside our communities. We need a comprehensive legal framework that coordinates policy to turn that junk back into gold, and here's how we can do it in three easy steps:
 
Step 1: Develop a comprehensive and easily-enforceable legal standard in cooperation with the community, small businesses, local townships, and government agencies to deal with e-waste.
 
Step 2: Return enforcement proceeds to a sovereign wealth fund that provides fixed-interest rate loans to successful small recycling businesses seeking to expand their operations.
 
Step 3: Profit from consistent law, with positive profit motives of enforcement, while getting the benefit of watching businessmen fight with each other as they clean our streets.
 
As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Let's find a way to treasure our beautiful and clean Uganda.
The Writer is a lawyer and project advocate at Advocates for Natural Resources Governance and Development (ANARDE).
 
Related Stories

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Poverty and greed: the major culprits of environmental degradation
Our standards of living are based on inexpensive energy in the form of electricity and gasoline powering automobiles that are the major contributors to environmental problems in the world today, but let us not forget that earlier in history; automobiles were actually heralded for solving a distinct...
Climate change: The Impossible deal
For “shall”, substitute “may”. For example, change “countries signing this climate change treaty SHALL state how much they are going to cut their greenhouse emissions” to “countries signing this climate change treaty MAY state how much they are going to cut their emissions if they feel like it, but...
Who really cares about the Ugandan girl?
The UCE and UACE 2014 public examinations are now done with and the other classes are at home for Term Three holidays. The students from the secondary schools especially have flooded our localities. Most conspicuous of them will be the girls; but who cares?...
A delegate conference is not a pilgrimage
At the last NRM delegate’s conference held at Namboole, the National Executive tabled a motion regarding the period at which the holding of a delegate’s conference should be....
Corruption: they that are not corrupt can hurl the stones
So the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Uganda 142nd out of 175 countries, according to Transparency International. Based on expert opinion, Transparency International says our level of public sector dishonesty is 26 out of 100. Denmark is the most transparent with a score of 92/100 while So...
The evil of deforestation
Africa is facing very many problems but few have been solved. One of the major ones is environmental degradation through deforestation. Deforestation is having a big impact on the environment....
Do you agree with the ban on the export of maids?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter